There is sure an extra dose of sass in this fluffy little black-and-white body.
Over the last couple of weeks, calving has come to an end and the pre-branding work, which included long days gathering cows and sorting pairs and tagging and vaccinating, occupied much of our time. The pups would accompany us, but would find themselves locked in the aluminum trailer while we were riding out to gather or working in the corrals, to keep them out of the way and prevent any “self-deployment,” as we call their tendency to, well, self-deploy. Sometimes they apparently think the cows just need a little wake-up, or maybe even need to be shuffled to the next hill. So we lock them up and have the delightful pleasure of listening to the two pups howling inside that tin-can of a trailer. I imagine the echo is pretty inspirational.
One of those mornings, we were horseback in the corral about 100 yards from the trailer, and I caught a glimpse of a little black dog on the back of the flatbed pickup. At first I figured it was Dave’s pup, Cooper, who hadn’t been locked up and likes to sit on top of the pickup cab, but it didn’t take long to see that it was in fact my pup, Josie. She had somehow managed to climb out one of the trailer windows and then jump up onto the flatbed, both of which were rather impressive feats. She then rummaged around in the coffee break bag and stole an apple and put teeth marks in the other. She was happy as a clam and didn’t show a bit of remorse. Her conscience was not pricked. I had introduced her to apples, and she apparently likes them well enough to self-deploy on them as well.
A couple days later, she gave us quite a good scare while we were working pairs. When we took coffee break, which generally happens at an appropriate lull which generally happens around 10am, Josie climbed out of the trailer looking rather lethargic, kind of slinking around and trembling. It was abnormal enough I started looking all over her for possible snake fang marks, or wondering if she had managed to get herself kicked or stepped on by one of the horses. I didn’t find anything, but she kind of moaned when I pressed her little belly and, even more abnormally, she showed no interest when I was eating an apple or a beef stick. She loves to share, but not that time. At one point she was curled up in my lap, with her head bobbing and eyes closing, still shaking and shivering. It was bizarre. Brad said later he almost had me take the ATV back to the house and get her to the vet. Anyway, a couple hours later she was just fine, right as rain. All I can figure is that the dramatic little thing got her feelings hurt when she ended up locked in the trailer by herself for what must have been a tortuous hour. Horror of horrors. It was quite the convincing performance. She got a lot of mileage out of that. Thank goodness I didn’t take her to the vet. That would have been embarrassing.
Oh, Josie. I really don’t know what I’d do without her.